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We’d all love to be the next Google.com or Etsy.com
But the truth is it generally takes millions of marketing dollars to turn a nonsensical domain into a household name.
• So how do you decide what domain name to select?
SHOOT FOR SIMPLE
It’s important for most small businesses to take a simpler approach to developing a domain name.
That way it can be easily recognizable by both humans and search engines without spending huge amounts of marketing dollars.
In this lesson, you’ll search for a domain name that sends a clear message to your potential customers and the search engines.
If needed, you’ll purchase a domain name so you can continue to build your online presence.
PICK YOUR DOMAIN AND TAGLINE
You’ll select a supporting domain name and tagline that clearly identifies what value you offer to your customers
THIS LESSON’S OBJECTIVES
Over the course of this lesson you’ll discover:
- What a searchable domain looks like
- How to search for and select a domain name using Godaddy.com
- And how to use a tagline as part of your branding strategy.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Each lesson includes the three styles for adult learners with:
• An Audio File
• A Written Transcript
• And a Practice Guide that gives you “hands-on” training customized to your own business.
GET PERSONAL OR SEARCH-ABLE
For small businesses on a tight budget, it makes the most sense to pick a domain name that falls into one of two categories.
- The first is a personal brand, with a domain name based on the person’s name.
- The second is a domain name is based on key words that are used by customers searching for solutions.
Here are examples:
• Personal branding-such as JaneSmithJr.com
• Or searchable branding, such as a marketing phrase and a keyword phrase-for instance ConvenientWindowWashing.com
Think of it this way.
A domain name that includes keywords will be easily recognizable by both potential customers and the search engines.
- Companies like phone.com, babies.com, all use this technique.
Unfortunately, most of the higher demand keywords have already been snapped up.
What’s a small business on a budget to do?
To keep the message clear, you should look for a domain name that includes 1 to 2 key words and then pair it with a marketing term.
- Using this combination approach, you can usually find an available supporting domain name.
Here are some examples that were available when this lesson was written:
All of these examples include a mix of relevant keywords and marketing terms.
WHY GET PERSONAL?
When does it make sense to use personal branding instead of searchable branding?
If your branding is based on you as the primary face of your business, personal branding makes sense.
Here are some examples:
- And Consultants
All of these types of businesses should seriously consider a personal branding strategy.
PROTECT YOUR REPUTATION
On a related note, we recommend getting your name as a domain name even if you are not planning on using a personal branding strategy.
- This is because you should keep your personal branding under your control.
You certainly don’t want a disgruntled customer obtaining it to post bad reviews!
- Think of it as a small investment in your online reputation.
ALL IT TAKES IS TIME AND MONEY
Does it ever make sense to start with a meaningless name as your domain name?
- Yes, sometimes it can make sense to use a meaningless term-like Google-to brand your business.
But realize that more effort both in terms of money and time is needed to get this domain name to mean something to potential customers.
For companies needing to generate revenue sooner, rather than later, without the deep pockets of venture capitalists, a searchable domain name-probably makes more sense.
TIME TO GET REAL!
Now it’s time for you to go to your Practice Guide and brainstorm some potential domain names.
- When you are ready, come back to this lesson and we’ll walk through the mechanics of seeing what domain names are available for purchase.
IS IT AVAILABLE?
Now that you’ve brainstormed the perfect domain name, let’s see if it’s available to purchase and what pitfalls to avoid.
For this part of the lesson, we are going to use the example of Godaddy.com, the world’s largest domain registrar.
DO A DOMAIN SEARCH
To search for a domain name, go to GoDaddy.com and click on the button to do a domain search.
- There you type in the domain name that you are considering for your business.
Godaddy will tell you whether or not that domain name is available.
- If your first choice is not available, or it is ridiculously expensive, don’t despair, this is actually quite normal.
TRY A NEW MARKETING TERM
If you have selected strong keywords for your domain name, the best approach to finding an available domain name is to add some other marketing terms.
- If “Best” is not available, enter “Choice”
- If “Fast” is not available, choose “Jiffy” or “Speedy”
Also see if putting the keywords first or last makes that combination is available.
AVOID THE BIG OOPS!
During the domain search, check to see how it looks when typed all together.
- Do any of the letters come together in a strange way?
- Do they form any offensive words or letter combinations?
If so, go back and enter another word combination.
SPELLING BEE TROUBLE
Then, it can be worth getting several spellings of domain names if you have something that can be easily misspelled by a customer.
- For example, “1minute” could be spelled with the numbers “1” or the letters “o-n-e“
Check and make sure you can purchase both domain names if there is any confusion in the spelling.
CAN’T BEAT DOT COM
Next, it is best to use a .com domain name unless you are a non-profit organization.
Even if you choose the .org for your domain name, you should purchase the .com domain name as well.
That way a customer can still find you whichever name they type.
Finally, let’s cover the topic of redirecting domain names.
As you go through this, you may find yourself registering more than one domain name.
Or perhaps you have an existing domain name that you’ve been using that no longer fits your business branding.
- The good news is that you can redirect the extra domain names to your main domain name.
This takes potential customers to the one domain name you want them to see…even if they type something else into their search box or click on an old link.
ARE YOU READY TO LOCK-IT-IN?
Once you have searched and come up with a suitable domain name, you will want to purchase it from GoDaddy.com or another domain registrar.
We like Godaddy, because in addition to domain registration, they provide many ancillary services for web-based businesses that are very helpful and very affordable-including:
- Email and WordPress hosting.
But this is our opinion, not required for your business.
SEARCH WHERE YOU BUY
We do recommend that you perform your domain search on the same site that you want to use as your domain registrar.
- This is because some domain search sites will “park” the domains you search for, thus making them unavailable for a period of time.
Don’t put yourself in the frustrating position of finding the perfect available domain, only to find it unavailable when you actually go to purchase it.
Got your domain name figured out? Great!
Now let’s move on to a supporting tagline.
- In last week’s lesson you looked at delivering a big promise on what value you offer to your customers.
- Earlier this week you looked a brandable experience concept for your business.
This “big promise” or “brandable experience” concept is generally used as a tagline on your website underneath your domain name.
TOO MANY KEYWORDS?
Now is the time to write your tagline underneath your domain name and see that it makes sense with the domain you have picked.
Some common adjustments that you may need in your tagline include:
- Too much repetition of keywords-Here’s an example:
The Domain name is: GrasshopperHighJump.com
The supporting tagline was going to be: “The Best Grasshopper High-Jumping on the Planet.”
In this case, you may want to shorten the tagline to:
• “The Best Sport on the Planet”
to avoid repeating the keywords too many times…too close together.
TOO MUCH MARKETING?
This same concept applies to repeating the marketing phrases too many times. For instance:
- The Domain name is: BesteverBakery.com
The supporting tagline was going to be: “The Best Ever Place for Fresh Bread”
In this case, you may want to adjust the tagline to:
- “Bread Baked Fresh Daily”
to not repeat the marketing terms too many times.
Take a look at your domain name and tagline.
What adjustments do you need to make?
Once you’ve decided on a supporting domain name and tagline for your business, let’s move on to selecting a compatible color palette and font selections for your brand.